Everywhere you look this season – in men’s as well as women’s clothing you see stripes. They are big, bold in horizontal (across); vertical (up and down); and even diagonal (one corner to the other). They are wide, and they are tiny; they are some of both.

When I talk to clients about wearing stripes, I always get a negative reaction. “Stripes always make you look bigger,” they tell me. I am here to say – not always. That’s why I am writing this blog. I want you to give stripes another chance.

See a good example of a vertical stripe here: in a dark stripe



Monochromatic stripe in a vertical pattern are even more slimming:


This dress is a possibility for some women…The stripes are bold and not too wide and certainly slimming in the up and down visual pattern.





And, an example that makes you look wider. The shape and the pattern are not slimming. But it would work for a slim woman. Now – there is an exception. If you’re very thin, you can wear this – and you can really rock it! 





Now on to more stripes…

What about horizontal stripe clothing? This is the pattern we all approach with caution—as we should. This white dress has narrow stripes but is probably not slimming for most women.









Another example: It’s great for really thin, straight women but not for curvy women.












Men: This would be more difficult to wear…







While this shirt actually may not make someone look wider since it’s darker stripe and dark background…





The general rules with all patterns:

Dark recedes (slenderizes) and light colors bring out (make you look larger).


Wear the correct sale of pattern according to your build and silhouette: small (fine-boned); medium and then grand (large boned).


Diagonal stripe is another challenge. Don’t assume it naturally makes you look smaller since the lines are going down. If the stripes are wide, they definitely make your shape appear larger.


Here are some examples.

This top actually really emphasizes the hips since that’s where the stripes stop. If you have larger hips stay away from this print.





Men, this is a statement shirt only for the slim…




Just in general, try on stripe clothing just to see how it looks on you. Once in awhile you will be surprised. If you decide you don’t like the look … there are certainly other ways to wear stripes…try a tie, a purse, stripe shoes, scarf, headband – even stripe in jewelry. There are ways many ways to wear a trend. You don’t always have to wear a trend the way you see it in a magazine or in a store.


That’s the beauty of style – make a trend your own and fabulous on you.


If you need help finding some new summer pieces – or special outfits for a date, Beth Divine Style can help. I specialize in making clients look fabulous!

Keep it sassy, Indy.


Beth Divine, AICI Certified Image Consultant and Personal Stylist